Housing

Why is a safe place to sleep not a basic human right? Because capitalism will only let you have a house if you pay for it and not everyone can pay for it. Poems and articles about housing and homelessness.

About Disaffected Middle-aged Women

Disaffected youth have long been the folk devils of society: feral, angry and disobedient; and simultaneously neglected, mistreated and alienated. The conservative establishment fears their rebelliousness crashing into its comfortable political world. 
But is there another demographic which that same establishment would be well-advised to fear? Enter the Disaffected Middle-aged Women. Underpaid, pushed around, stressed out - and fighting back!
Janine Booth’s new collection brings together forty-something poems from the midst of maturity. They tell life stories and cautionary tales. They invite you to look at well-known stories from a different point of view. They watch television, stroll along the river, listen to music, work night shifts and ponder life’s scars. They take on issues including climate change, overbearing advertising, terror attacks, violence against women, the Grenfell Tower fire and the rise of the right. 
Many of these poems rhyme, some don’t. Some are formal – including a sonnet, a villanelle and a sestina – but most have a rhythm and style of their own. 
Janine Booth writes to amuse, to provoke thought, and to cheer on important struggles. Now, with the Disaffected Middle-aged Women, she is raising an army – and entertaining the troops.

A Grenfell Nativity

Expectant families
in temporary digs
waiting for a miracle
Led here by a burning star
and a government demand
to be counted

Drawing the short straw
bedding down in the stalls
Because there's no room
in the inner workings
of the political economy
for them

Watched over by
donkeys and sheep
Interrupted sleep
Silent night
Keeping the light on

Scales of Injustice

Pick up the leaflet
pick up a pen
Rate on a scale of nil to ten
how broken is your heart
how much your life is rent apart
Rate your mental state
Is it three or six or eight?

Rate on a scale of nil to ten
Where nil is
I don't give a toss about them'
And ten is
'I'll never feel intact again'

Bring It Home

Bring help
Bring fire engines
Bring water
Bring air
Bring stretchers
Bring ambulances
Bring us round from sleep and out to safety

Bring food 
Bring clothes
Bring blankets
Bring camp beds
Bring phone chargers so we can find our friends and family 
And tell them that we made it

From Alex, 6 Years Old

On 21 September, the White House published a letter that President Obama had received from six-year-old New Yorker Alex, offering a home to Omran, the Syrian boy whose photo had circulated widely.

Please tell the boy in the ambulance
To come and live at ours
And we will greet him in the street
With flags, balloons and flowers

Beneath that dust I know he must
Be frightened as can be
But when he's washed the bloodstains off
I think he'll look like me

Rachman's Heirs

In January 2016, Conservative MPs voted down a Labour MP's Bill that would require landlords to ensure that homes to rent were fit for human habitation. Yes, really.

How very dare these bloody reds
Propose a law that homes I let
Be fit for folk to lay their heads
They should be glad of what they get
So come and view my latest rental -
Compact, bijou, great location
Fit for nowt but very central
Fit for human habitation

Spoken World

She chose a day to cast away
The gag she wore on words she'd say
The date was booked, twice underlined
The day she set to speak her mind

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